Over the past few months during development, it's come to my attention numerous times that a majority of people out there do not understand what sets Lethal Stigma apart from the pack and why it is so special and unique. Until now I've simply brushed off such comments and questions, however not but a couple of hours ago I decided to address this growing problem head-on in hopes of putting it to bed once and for all. Simply put, this is my fault, not the mod community's, so let's end the madness right here, right now.
Lethal Stigma is not Team Fortress 2. It is not Modular Combat. It is not Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and it is not Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag. Why? Because it's a little bit of all of the above - and then some. Still don't understand? Well, I'm usually not one for lists, but for the sake of proving my point, here we go (I'll try to briefly hit on most of the main points):
Lethal Stigma is no longer the one-gamemode modification it once was. There are currently four different ways to play: team elimination, free for all, capture the flag and outbreak. Each has a twist on the familiar. For instance, in CTF, there's only one flag and it is every players' job to find it and hold onto it for a certain amount of time rather than simply take the opposing team's flag and return it to his or her base. With more gamemodes also comes brand-new maps and old favorites, too.
Players choose between five different classes, some of which you've heard before: tank, assault, sniper, engineer and medic. Each has their own set of advantages and disadvantages (health, speed, etc) and start with a series of default weaponry that can be upgraded later.
Experience and leveling system
Players get experience for the obvious (killing enemies, helping teammates, completing objectives) and the not-so-obvious (headshots, kill streaks, melee or explosive kills, etc). This experience contributes to your overall level. Get enough experience and you'll level up, granting you a couple of upgrade credits, bringing me to my next bullet...
When a player gains levels, they are granted upgrade credits that they can use to trick out their weapons, and individual class, or their character in general. These credits are dynamic and can be exchanged and recycled for other upgrades anytime. Currently, available upgrades include things like cloaking, health and AUX power regeneration, increased bullet damage, gravity nullification, and much more. Upgrade credits can also be used to purchase entirely new weapons - like a winchester, dual pistols, and even hopwire grenades - or old favorites not used by any particular class, such as the .357 magnum and S.L.A.M.
For some of you (if not many of you), this entire exercise was pointless. Why? Because us gamers are often very visual. A mod could have everything in the world that one wanted, however one might never feel the urge to play it if it looked like something else one has already played. For those who still aren't following me and are about to stop reading, allow me to explain exactly what I mean one last time with an example:
Joe makes a mod. He thinks it is fun to play. People who play it also think it is fun to play, but they notice that it looks bland. Billy is looking for a mod that is fun to play. He likes...uh...the robots he saw in another mod. He sees Joe's mod. He reads about it and looks at it for some time, but decides not to download it or look into it further because it doesn't have any robots in it.
I strongly believe Lethal Stigma is suffering from something very similar. Granted, this is perfectly understandable and I fully recognize this dilemma, and it's my fault for not resolving it sooner. After all, one developer cannot change the mind of millions of gamers. In fact, it is actually my job to conform to what you guys want to play. Regardless, it is my hope to at least soften the effect this problem has on my projects from here on out, because I do not plan to add any...uh, robots...anytime soon.
In conclusion, I know I am fighting an uphill battle here, but I don't seek to change the way people think, I just want to help open peoples' minds a bit. It's true; I don't have any flashy screenshots, no amazing renders of crazy spaceships or in-game video of an awesome futuristic tank or something...but since when are these requirements? If people are turned off by the fact that Lethal Stigma is HL2-based or looks like something else out there, so be it, but I truly believe that you will be missing out on something fun and exciting if you don't at least try it when it is available for everyone to download come July.
Whoops, did I just leak a release date? :p
James Pizzurro (.£cho)
Agent Red Productions